7/26/10: First female Arab combat soldier in IDF is proud to serve Israel

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From IDF Spokesperson.  Excerpt:

“Look at the beret,” says Elinor, smiling from ear to ear, showing off the bright green beret that she earned after completing the trek which is part of her combat training in the Karakal Battalion.  Her excitement is accompanied by a new historical precedent, since Elinor is the first Arab female combat soldier in IDF history.

Cpl. Elinor Joseph was born and raised in an integrated neighborhood of Jews and Arabs in Haifa, but attended a school in which all her classmates were Arab. She later moved to Wadi Nisnas, an Arab neighborhood where she currently lives. Despite the fact that she would always wear her father’s IDF dog-tag around her neck from when he served in the Paratrooper’s Unit, she never thought she would enlist. “I wanted to go abroad to study medicine and never come back,” she said. To her father it was clear that she would enlist in the IDF, as most citizens in Israel do. This was something that worried her very much. “I was scared to lose my friends because they objected to it. They told me they wouldn’t speak to me. I was left alone.”

Read it all here.

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More: From ISRAEL21c, A Scoop In The Family; excerpt:

“What? You have an Arab girl in your unit?” I squeaked. “And you never told me? That’s a great story.”

“I guess it is – it’s in Ma’ariv today,” she told me, as we went online and saw the huge photo of Elinor Joseph in battle gear and camouflage.

The story described how Joseph, a Christian Arab living outside of Haifa, has excelled in the unit. She labels herself “Arab, Christian and Israeli” in that order, and received special permission from the IDF to take her uniform off and put on civilian clothes before reaching home, in case any of her neighbors don’t share her allegiance to the state.

My daughter said that she’s ‘one of the guys’ and is ‘hamoodi’ (cute), and aside from a slight accent in Hebrew, nobody would ever know that she wasn’t one of the other Jewish Israelis in the unit.

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About the Author

Freedom-oriented multimedia graphic designer, writer and creative consultant. Disruptor. Creator of the ILoveIsrael project (iloveisrael.me). Author of memoir "Saved By Shayna: Life Lessons From A Miracle Dog". Writer-director of documentary"TWITTER EXPOSED: Enabling the Taliban - but stopping a campaign to rescue US allies FROM the Taliban".

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